Number plate bulb replacement from $19
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Number plate bulb replacement
Number plate bulb replacement cost
If you drive on Australian roads, your vehicle must have official number plates fitted and if you were issued with two number plates then both need to be attached to the vehicle. It is the owner's responsibility to ensure the number plates are in good condition and clearly readable. This is so the vehicle is identifiable should it be stolen or involved in a traffic infringement. You can be penalised if the number plate is unreadable and it is required to be visible from 20 metres away. If your number plate bulb has blown and you’re driving in poor light conditions or at night you could be issued a fine.
When your vehicle headlights or parking lights are turned on, the number plate light (also known as rear registration plate lamp or ‘illumination device’) should also be on. If it doesn’t turn on, you may have a blown bulb.
To have a number plate bulb replaced could cost you around $5 to $50 depending on the bulb required and access to the bulb on your particular make and model of vehicle. Some vehicles have more than one bulb illuminating the rear number plate. If none are working then it may require the replacement of a couple of bulbs or there may be another electrical problem.
What is the number plate bulb?
To illuminate the number plate there are light bulb fitments situated next to - above, below or beside - the number plate. The bulbs must emit a minimum light flux for the device. Bulb manufacturers must make sure number plate lights meet the minimum luminance values by testing at one minute and 30 minutes after illumination. They classify these as road legal bulbs.
A number plate bulb will typically push into the number plate light socket or electrical connector. There will be a light fitting that covers the bulb to protect it from the elements. The number plate bulb is typically a 12v 5w wedge globe and the light must be colourless to ensure the number plate doesn’t appear to be a different colour. When purchasing bulbs, ensure they are road legal and the correct fitment. You can check your vehicle owner’s manual to get the correct bulb specifications.
If you’re unsure which bulb to purchase, when you book an AutoGuru service have the professionals replace the number plate bulb for you.
Symptoms the number plate bulb needs replacing
- Light is flickering on and off
- Lights don’t come on when the lights are turned on
- The light is very faint
- The bulb is fogged over
How is the number plate bulb replaced?
- Locate the number plate lights
- Remove light covers or light assembly
- Remove old bulb
- Fit new bulb
- Replace light cover or light assembly
- Test operation
Tips to remember
It’s a good idea to use a cloth to handle the bulb. Try to avoid touching the glass.
Make sure the lights are switched off when replacing the bulb and make sure replacement bulbs are road legal and correct fitment for your vehicle.
If you have multiple number plate bulbs but only one has blown, you should still replace it as the number plate will not be illuminated effectively.
How important is it to replace the number plate bulb?
It is a legal requirement to have your number plate illuminated and visible up to 20 metres away. If you don’t want to get into trouble and receive a fine, spending a few dollars on a bulb is a wise option.